With so much uncertainty caused by Covid variants and wildfires, educational programming at Woolman is challenging. While we cannot host overnight youth programs yet, we are taking advantage of the opportunity to do mission-focused planning and site preparation. This summer, the programs department at Woolman has been busy with outreach to numerous local, Bay Area, and Sacramento schools to understand how their needs match with our mission. We are sharing what Woolman will have to offer for pilot programming during the spring of 2022, with the aim of ramping up in the fall of 2022. This outreach has been successful in getting Woolman back on teachers and administrators of local, and regional school’s purview.
After speaking with several educators, two of which brought students to Woolman before it closed, it became clear what schools are looking for in terms of programming and overnight trips and retreats. They are seeking meaningful experiences in nature and an opportunity to explore social justice theses, and youth and environmental activism. From this information, three session ideas for Woolman Outdoor School have emerged and all have been met with a great deal of interest.
Additionally, planning for Camp Woolman for the summer of 2022 is underway including Team Leadership Camp. In a new program, Woolman is planning to directly serve Quaker youth and families more formally than in the past. Working with Keenan Lorenzato, the new youth coordinator for the Pacific Yearly Meeting on preliminary planning is proceeding on bringing teens and young adults to Woolman for leadership training, retreats, and Quaker programming, potentially starting as soon as this fall.
Below you will find the outline of three Woolman programs, including learning objectives, that schools can choose from with the option of a hybrid of two or all three. These programs are still in the developmental phase, and the plan is to pilot them the spring of 2022 with Oakland High School students, as well as a couple of local schools. Mollie will be doing in person outreach at Oakland High and Sacramento Country Day School this fall.
Woolman Outdoor School curriculum options are threefold:
Learning Objectives: Students will learn about earth and its systems to help create a sustainable future and be good stewards of the environment. Students will have an understanding of environmental impacts and inequities and have a working knowledge of environmental systems through hands-on experiences, such as field investigations, lab work, critical thinking, and problem solving. Additionally students will know how they can impact environmental justice issues in their schools and community.
- Watersheds/freshwater biology
- Forest ecology
- Fire ecology
- Environmental justice
- Art in nature
- Wilderness skills
- Native plant identification
- Environmental stewardship
Learning Objectives: Students will learn the basic principles of running and maintaining a farm and garden, including how to create urban farms and gardens in their cities and school campuses. Students will know how to plan, prepare, plant, and harvest a working garden, how to start a CSA in their communities, as well as the impacts of farming on the environment. They will develop a working knowledge of food inequality and how to combat these inequities in their communities.
- Prepping, planting, harvesting
- Urban garden planning
- Running a CSA
- Basics of agriculture
- Farm to table agriculture
Social Justice and Direct Nonviolent Action
Learning Objectives: Students will learn the basic principles of nonviolent action and how to use these strategies to be leaders and activists in effort to create direct and positive change in their communities through the following strands: personal awareness, societal understanding, and direct nonviolent action. Students will be able to help organize and lead opportunities for peaceful action and reshaping in the following areas: political policies, racial injustice, violence in schools, communities and the greater world, environmental injustice, and communication, and will have an understanding of how to facilitate and organize through direct nonviolent action.
- Three strands: personal awareness, societal understanding, direct nonviolent action
- Nonviolent communication
- Somatic practices
- Alternatives to violence
- School project to bring back to visiting school campus
There is still much work to be done in terms of planning for wildfires in Nevada County during the summer months and early fall, as well as new Covid restrictions, given the Delta variant and the return to in person school across the state. Things are ever changing, and yet we remain confident that there will be programs running at Woolman in 2022!
Programs Director, Woolman